4/19/2014 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 166
FORT MYERS, Fla. – With its third-straight shutout, the FGCU softball team earned a series sweep with a 6-0 win over the University of North Florida Saturday afternoon at the FGCU Softball Complex. The Eagles used a win in each of the three games of the series to improve to 28-21-1 with an 11-10 Atlantic Sun record, while the Ospreys fell to 26-21 and 9-15 in conference play.
The three-game shutout is the Eagles’ first A-Sun series shutout since the 2011 season.
With a strong performance across the board, each of the Eagles’ six runs was knocked in by a different member of the lineup. Collectively, the team recorded 11 hits, while holding UNF to just five hits on the day.
“Today was one of the most complete games we’ve put together all season,” said head coach David Deiros. “All phases of our game were in full gear and that was fun to see.”
The Eagles carried the momentum of Friday’s double header sweep into Saturday’s play and took an early 1-0 lead. Makensie McAvoy (Plant City, Fla./Plant City High School) doubled to right center to start a rally for FGCU and was followed by a single to left from senior Chelsea Zgrabik (Venice, Fla./Venice High School). The Eagles’ cleanup hitter, Kelsey Carpenter (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty High School), grounded out to second to score McAvoy and put the home team ahead early.
After a scoreless second, the Eagles added another run in the third on a solo homerun to right field from Zgrabik. The bomb was her 13th of the season.
The Green and Blue continued the hot hitting in the fourth as Brittney Garabedian (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep High School) walked to lead off and moved to second on a single from Kirsten Bembnowski (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake High School). The runners advanced on a groundout as Hannah Horwath (Lake Mary, Fla./Lake Mary High School) approached the plate. Horwath reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Garabedian to bring the score to 3-0. Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City High School) followed with another single through the right side to score Bembnowski and put the home team ahead 4-0.
In the fifth, Carpenter and Louie Ross (Cape Coral, Fla./Ida S. Baker High School) produced back-to-back singles to put runners on and moved into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt from Garabedian. A sacrifice sly from Bembnowski followed by an RBI double by rookie Jeanie Verderese (Jacksonville, Fla./Creekside High School) extended the Eagle lead to 6-0 in the fifth inning.
The six runs were enough as the Eagle defense stifled each scoring opportunity the Ospreys produced. The home team held onto the lead through the sixth and seventh and earned its third-consecutive shutout win.
Freshman Taylor Wade (Pace, Fla./ Pace High School) took the circle to start the game for FGCU but was relieved by Amanda Josie (Estero, Fla./ Estero High School) after two innings. Wade allowed just one hit in two innings of work, while walking one and strikeout out one.
Josie pitched four scoreless innings for FGCU, allowing just two hits and no runs to score. Josie improved to 9-8 on the year with the win. Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla./Sante Fe High School) finished the game for FGCU with just one hit in the final inning of play.
FGCU will host its last conference home games against A-Sun foe Mercer (29-17; 11-8 A-Sun) in a three-game series next weekend. The Eagles and Bears will begin the matchup Saturday, April 26, with the first pitch of the series scheduled for 2 p.m.
Tickets for all FGCU softball games are available at a cost of $6 for adults and $3 for children. Tickets provide entrance to the entire day of the tournament. For more ticket information and additional deals, visit FGCUathletics.com/tickets, or call or visit the ticket office at 239-590-7145.